An Open Letter To All Those Trying To Survive

Amy Humphries / Unsplash

Dear Survivor,

This is for you, who’s trying to stay afloat against the cruel, relentless tide of life. This is for you, who has lay down their oars in the face of waves that are tiring and overwhelming. This is for you, survivor. You, who thinks they simply can’t win, constantly underestimating your strength and abilities in the process.

Truly, no one prepared you for just how rough things can be. Yet, here you are, immersed in your struggles; fighting against all odds, taking turns slowing down to inhale deeply, only to carry on.

As you sit on this figurative shore that is your safe space and ponder whether or not the tide is favorable for you to tackle once more, just bear in mind that the elements can often be merciless. It will solely be your resolve that will decide whether you sink or swim.

What is it that you consider to be your daunting abyss?

Perhaps, you’ve realized that the one you love cannot love you back for a myriad of reasons, and you sit on the shore with a broken heart that you think will never heal.

Maybe, you’re lost and conflicted, unable to decide on which path to take and which to forgo. Perhaps, the battlefield for the war that wages within you is your mind, where the only casualty at the end of the day is your own well-being.

Your mind changes courses swiftly, meandering between being your friend and your foe.

The days when your mind is your ally, you feel like you have it all together. However, when your mind chooses to be your foe, all hell breaks loose. You feel like the world is slipping from within your grasp. Your mind tricks you into believing that in a race that involves about seven billion people, you are perpetually lagging behind.

To make matters worse, it takes a single glance into a mirror to show you an image of everything you have tried to avoid being. Consequently, a wave of self-loathing and self-doubt submerges you within its ferocity.

At times like these, most people convince themselves that they are alone. Some choose to internalize the panic and chaos that erodes their minds from within. Some are more verbal and choose to rant.

However, at the end of it all, all of us feel like we have not been understood. Therefore, we eventually choose silence. We choose to believe that our struggles are not important. We believe the demons we battle are significantly smaller than that of those around us. Our minds convince us that we are weak in the face of resistance.

Know this, survivor: your battle and your struggles are valid and important, as are you, in your entirety.

Know this: your heart, in the face of any form of damage, will heal. The path that you are meant to take will materialize before your eyes for you to traverse. The war that is being waged within you will eventually come to an end.

You may feel that this is it – this is the one that breaks you and your spirit. You might believe that this is where you stop paddling and allow the waves to take you for their own.

However, when the going gets tough – when you feel the troubled waters trying to pull you in – you will thrash frantically and fight.

Because that’s what you always do. You will push against the waves that will try to drag you down, with every single stroke making you that much stronger. Eventually, you will make it across.

Once you’re across, you’ll look at the strip of water that separated you from your goal. You might laugh at your own foolishness for having ever thought that you could not make it. You might even bow your head in gratitude, flex your arms and legs, loosen the knots in your back and acknowledge that the tide made you stronger.

Whichever way you choose to react, you will be doing so after having made it to the other side.

Just know this, survivor: you are meant to make it to the other side. Don’t give in to the tide. Just keep paddling.

With love,

A well-wisher. TC mark

Learning to channel my thoughts on paper.

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